By Kathleen Mullane

Well, February and ‘Spring’ is with us at last, after a very wet and windy January to say the least. Saying that however, so far, we’ve had no icy roads or falls of snow, so we have a lot to be grateful for.

We took a drive to Ballybunion on Sunday last which was a sunny but frosty day. It was encouraging to see so many children out with their parents kicking ball on the beach, out walking their dogs, picking perri-winkles, as the tide was out, even small babies all wrapped up and many families having their flasks and picnics. I had my two little grandchildren and we all had ‘rosy cheeks’ and clear heads after being out and about. Ballybunion is one of the most beautiful beaches around – hopefully we will get a good summer to enjoy it’s benefits!. Actually Thomas Barr, a fitness expert and well known athlete, was on Ireland AM last week saying that all schools need a ‘health person’ to promote – non smoking, the dangers of alcohol and the importance of fitness. He also stated that exercise and sport improves academic results, shows discipline and has many other beneficial rewards. So maybe all parents should be encouraging their kids to ‘get out and about’ and to give the X-Boxes, phones and  I-Pads a rest!

Well, one of Athea’s well known publicans Sean Fitzgerald (better know to all as Sean Batt) was laid to rest on Saturday last. Many came to pay their final respects at Finucane’s funeral home here in Athea on Friday evening last. Sean was an avid Arsenal supporter and indeed a great supporter of Athea GAA, Athea Utd and Athea Ladies Football and all these clubs had a ‘guard of honour’ at his funeral. Also as his funeral made its way to Holy Cross for burial after requiem mass – the bikers from all over led the cortege over the bridge and up the hill to Sean’s final resting place. He was a great supporter in the past of the Athea Bike Races. No doubt he will be sadly missed. Incidentally, the 1997 GAA Jersey that Sean sponsored was put on his coffin. We offer our sincere sympathy to his sisters, brother, relatives and so many friends. ‘May the light of heaven be his’

Well, next Tuesday is ‘Pancake Tuesday’, so no doubt the pans will be on full power – in past years the day before Ash Wednesday was the one that the flour and eggs and any bits and pieces in one’s cupboard was used up in preparation for Lent when everyone fasted religiously.

Thought for the Week:- “The only job where you ‘Start at the Top’ is when you are digging a hole”.